Friday, August 10, 2018

Freedom!

Well, we have another licensed driver in the family. That's right, William passed his road test and is now the proud holder of a New Hampshire driver's license. Yesterday he drove himself to and from work for the first time. Well, at least the first time by himself.

William and I spent more than 30 hours on the road together before he got his license, practicing on a lot of different roads and under a lot of different conditions, including the 10 hours of required night driving. He did well. There were mistakes, of course, but I felt safe with him, and because of that, I feel better about him being on the road on his own. Not perfect, of course, because I'm his father and I worry about him, but better.

William on wheels will clear up a lot of conflicts in our crazy work schedules, and keep William from having to worry about walking to a from work in the pouring rain or the blazing heat, two things we'd had more than our usual share of this summer. It's not a long walk to work, but it's up and down a steep hill, so the car will definitely make him happier.

When Winter comes, William and I will go back out together to get him some snow driving experience, and I'll feel better once again because William has a Subaru Forester, and I already know that they are good in the snow, once I make sure that he is.

My boys are growing up, and while that's a little scary and makes me feel a bit old (not that I didn't already because, well, I'm old), it's good to see them getting ready for adulthood. William will get there officially in just a couple of months.

And then it's one to go.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Thirty Years

Yesterday marked thirty years since a certain incredible and beautiful lady said "I do" to me, and has, much to my perpetual amazement, stayed with me all that time. The actual day was a quiet one. Karen had to work, and we ate at home, so the only indication that anything was different was a pot of violets on the table and a card. A couple of days before, though, was a different story.

On Saturday we had a party at the resort where I work, in the area known as "The Barn" because, well, it used to be a barn, a couple of hundred years ago when the property was still a farm. We had food and drink for lots of guests. Didn't have that many guests, it turned out, but the quantity mattered far less than the quality, and we had a very good time.

Among our rarest of guests were our friend Sue and Brad, who drove up from Virginia to spend time with us, and our niece Katherine and her fiance Mike, who are now living in northern Massachusetts. Erin's parents and her sister also came for a while. We had a lot of opportunity to talk to everyone and it made for an unforgettable evening.

I sang two special sets of songs for Karen, using them to tell the story of how we met and how my singing made her notice me. Three of the songs I sang were specifically written for her. Karen loved the songs and the stories, and that meant the world to me.

But, as I said, a lot of people couldn't make it, most because of other obligations including work, some unfortunately because of issues of either personal or family health, and others because of distance. So we had a ton of leftovers, and that's why Karen and I ate at home on Monday, because we're trying not to waste food.

We will go out to celebrate, likely next week.

Meanwhile, having let a lot of things slide while preparing for the party, we're getting back to what passes for normal in our household. I'm scrambling to get William his driving hours so that he can take his license exam. As of this writing, he needs less than 14 hours but (and here's the catch) eight of them need to be after dark. He works evenings. Often I work evenings. Often Karen works evenings. It complicates things.

But that's life at the Brooks Bunch house. Complicated, with a lot of running around. But also with a lot of love and laughs.